As a young woman she met the wandering rishi Parashara, by whom she had a son, Vyasa. His birth took place in secret on an island in the river Yamuna.
Satyavati's marital life with Santanu
Years passed by and one day, the king of Hastinapura, Santanu asked for a ferry to take him across the stream of a smell river. The owner of the ferryboat was not on duty. Unaware, Santanu called the boatman. He becomes shocked to see that instead of an old male as he was expecting, a beautiful young woman emerges from the hood of the boat. She informs him that the boatman, he father, being unwell, could not come, so she, his daughter, her name was Satyavati. Satyavati was doing the job. She asked the King where he wanted to go. Santanu asked for a destination near to Satyavati's home and the journey started. Santanu was dumb-founded by Satyavati's unexplainable beauty. She brought him back after the journey and at parting, commented that the King was probably perturbed due to some political problem as he neither spoke nor moved during the entire course of the journey. Though she noticed, she did not so state, that during this whole period, Shantanu's fixed gaze was on her. Even she fell for his love. When both decided to get married, her father put forward a condition that the king can marry his daughter only if he promises to hand over the throne after his death to the children born to both of them. This put the king into a dilemma as he already had a child by the name Devavrata later known as Bhishma and he was the official successor of the throne.
But due to the magnanimous nature of Devavrata who promised Satyavati's father that he will neither take charge of the throne nor marry or be involved in sexual intercourse, his father Santanu and Satyavati could get married.
Their children were Chitrangada and Vichitravirya. After Santanu's death, she with her princely sons ruled the kingdom. Although both these sons died childless, she arranged for her first son Vyasa to father the children of the two wives of Vichitravirya (Ambika and Ambalika).